20" Alum iMac DVD's don't look good

KJdanReuben

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 22, 2007
153
0
Hello all. I bought a 20" Aluminum iMac yesterday. The one with the 2.4ghz C2D and ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO. I bought Transformers today and started playing it on the iMac and it looked terrible! I don't know what is wrong with it. I played it on my SR MBP, and it looked awesome! Can anyone tell me what is wrong? It is grainy and blacks look bad. It is, however, smooth and clear on the MBP. Also, does anyone know why Transformers is still letterboxed even though it is the widescreen edition? It is letterboxed on both the iMac and MBP. Thanks for any help!
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,972
385
It's letterboxed because it's filmed in a different aspect ratio to your screen. I don't know of any film shot in 16:10. A lot of stuff is either 16:9 or 2.35:1 which would result in letterboxing no matter what computer monitor you watched it on. A 16:9 TV will show 16:9 content without letterboxing but it'll still box in anything filmed in theatrical widescreen (2.35:1)
 

KJdanReuben

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 22, 2007
153
0
It's letterboxed because it's filmed in a different aspect ratio to your screen. I don't know of any film shot in 16:10. A lot of stuff is either 16:9 or 2.35:1 which would result in letterboxing no matter what computer monitor you watched it on. A 16:9 TV will show 16:9 content without letterboxing but it'll still box in anything filmed in theatrical widescreen (2.35:1)
Thanks! I thought that might have been it, but I wasn't sure so I figured I'd ask. Well, that is one question answered. Does anyone know what the problem with the poor quality is? Is it because it is gloss finish? But I've read stuff from other people saying that it is great watching movies on the new iMacs. Thanks for any help!
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,972
385
Thanks! I thought that might have been it, but I wasn't sure so I figured I'd ask. Well, that is one question answered. Does anyone know what the problem with the poor quality is? Is it because it is gloss finish? But I've read stuff from other people saying that it is great watching movies on the new iMacs. Thanks for any help!
It's not a gloss finish, there is a physical pane of glass in front of the LCD. Never noticed any issues on ours, DVDs look pretty bloody good.
 

KJdanReuben

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 22, 2007
153
0
It's not a gloss finish, there is a physical pane of glass in front of the LCD. Never noticed any issues on ours, DVDs look pretty bloody good.
So do you think there is something wrong with it? Should I call
Apple?
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,972
385
So do you think there is something wrong with it? Should I call
Apple?
I dunno mate, if it looks dodgy then yeah. You guys have a bunch of Apple Stores over there, go try out the DVD on one of theirs and do a comparison.
 

KJdanReuben

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 22, 2007
153
0
I dunno mate, if it looks dodgy then yeah. You guys have a bunch of Apple Stores over there, go try out the DVD on one of theirs and do a comparison.
That's what I figured I'd do. Thanks for all the help!
 

Tsurisuto

macrumors 6502
Jun 13, 2007
343
0
It's not a gloss finish, there is a physical pane of glass in front of the LCD. Never noticed any issues on ours, DVDs look pretty bloody good.

Actually, the iMac does has a glossy screen finish as well as the physical pane of glass!
 

djc6

macrumors 6502a
Aug 11, 2007
606
141
Cleveland, OH
I think all DVDs look terrible on my 24" iMac - but I blame the low resolution of DVDs, not the iMac. When I download HD content to view, it looks spectacular. I'm used to watching DVDs on my analog TV set, and I think they look much better there. I think part of the problem there is that I'm sitting far away from the TV set, but when watching DVDs on a computer I'm right in front of it and can better observe the graininess.

Some of these movie trailers on apple's website are in HD:

http://www.apple.com/trailers/
 

AlexisV

macrumors 68000
Mar 12, 2007
1,603
95
Manchester, UK
DVDs are at a lower resolution than the monitor, so the image has to be scaled up. You just won't have noticed it as much on a laptop screen.
 

KJdanReuben

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 22, 2007
153
0
I think all DVDs look terrible on my 24" iMac - but I blame the low resolution of DVDs, not the iMac. When I download HD content to view, it looks spectacular. I'm used to watching DVDs on my analog TV set, and I think they look much better there. I think part of the problem there is that I'm sitting far away from the TV set, but when watching DVDs on a computer I'm right in front of it and can better observe the graininess.

I think it is the resolution issue. I went to an Apple store today to try out the DVD on one of theirs. I also brought the coputer just incase we needed to try the two side by side. The DVD looked better, still not great, on the store's 20" than on mine. So, we brought mine in and tried it, and it looked the same and theirs. The guy I talked to said that the resolution was most likely what it was. Also, when I tried the movie last night for the first time, the colors were way off and it looked absolutely horrible. The worker said that it was probably because the room was basically dark except for the iMac so errors were much more visible. While at the store, the guy cntr-clicked and played the DVD on normal size instead of full screen. It looked much better, just small. So, I think it is the resolution, which I had completely forgotten how much better a monitor's resolution is than a TV's, and the dimly lit room that made it look bad. So I think we can safely say that DVD playing full screen on iMac + dimly lit room = no good.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,824
7
what did you change the gamma to, if you don't mind me asking?
The TV setting, whatever it is called. It deepens the colour saturation, yet thanks to the backlight on that screen being ridiculously strong compared to my last two Macs, everything is still perfectly bright. I left the white point as is.
 

Britanium

macrumors member
Mar 9, 2007
73
0
Just a thought - have you tried lowering your screens resolution to match that of a TV, and then tried watching a DVD? Perhaps this will eliminate the need for it to scale-up...
 

killerrobot

macrumors 68020
Jun 7, 2007
2,220
2
127.0.0.1
So I think we can safely say that DVD playing full screen on iMac + dimly lit room = no good.

I've calibrated the 20" screen and put it at max res 1680X1050 (the same as my MBP :eek:), and DVD/videos look amazing in full screen. Also, watching the same movie on my 17" MBP is good too, but i definitely prefer the 20".
 

KJdanReuben

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 22, 2007
153
0
Just a thought - have you tried lowering your screens resolution to match that of a TV, and then tried watching a DVD? Perhaps this will eliminate the need for it to scale-up...
I'll try that, and then also try calibrating. Thanks for all the input!
 

Fuchal

macrumors 68020
Sep 30, 2003
2,438
701
There is no reason to ever use any other resolution than the native LCD resolution. There is nothing that will be gained.
 

AlexisV

macrumors 68000
Mar 12, 2007
1,603
95
Manchester, UK
It's nothing but a resolution issue.

DVDs looked rough on my old PC with a 17" CRT monitor at 1024 x 768 resolution.

Step back a bit from the screen and you won't notice any blockiness or roughness though.
 

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